South African cycling hero, Alan van Heerden, died on Tuesday from injuries suffered in a car accident. He was 57 years old.
Alan was recovering from bypass surgery that he had last week. The operation went well and he was looking forward to getting back onto his bike.
Details of the accident are still unclear but according to paramedics it appears that he was traveling in the left lane of the N1 North and hit a concrete barrier where the lanes narrow and merge. After the accident he was taken to the Linksfield Clinic in Johannesburg where he died.
Van Heerden won more than 1 000 road races during his career and also won a stage in the Tour of Italy while he was a professional racer in Belgium.
Robbie Hunter, South Africa’s Tour de France stage winner said on Wednesday that Van Heerden was without doubt the best racer ever produced in the country.
Our condolences go out to Alan’s family.